OFT merger decision in March

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The Independent Online

The proposed merger of the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission will finally be confirmed around the time of the Budget in March.

Lawyers and experts in the competition field had been expecting a formal response to a Department for Business consultation on creating a single agency, the Competition & Markets Authority, since last year. An announcement confirming the Government's belief that a merger would lead to greater scrutiny of deals and concentrations of market dominance had been expected earlier this month.

It is understood that ministers are debating over some of the smaller details of the proposals.

Alastair Mordaunt, a partner at Clifford Chance, said lawyers could "see the benefits" of merging the two bodies.

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